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While Investors Want Out, Insiders Buy In

While panicked investors have recently fled markets in a scale not seen since the last financial crisis, corporate insiders are aggressively buying.

Stack of U.S. hundred-dollar bills
Stack of U.S. hundred-dollar bills

“Insider buying has accelerated dramatically to its highest level since the market bottom of March 2009,” according to Ben Silverman, Director of Research at InsiderScore, a firm that tracks buying and selling activity for corporate insiders.

According to Silverman, insiders have purchased over $400 million in company shares since July 1, with most of that activity occurring in the last 2 weeks when markets began to nosedive (the S&P fell over 15 percent during that time).

Insiders at Mueller Industries, and EXCO Resources have been the most aggressive buyers, according to Silverman, collectively purchasing over $150 million in company shares in the third quarter, with the most recent activity coming on August 5.

Other notable purchases include Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman who bought $2.1 million in company stock on August 4, Six Flags Entertainment CEO which bought $2.5 million on August 5, Fortune Brands whose director David MacKay bought over a million dollars in stock on August 5, and Charter Communications CFO who bought $1.2 million in stock also on August 5.

Insider Sheet

Company
Shares Purchased
Most Recent Buy
Mueller Industries 2.390,051 August 5
EXCO Resources 4,153,204 August 5
Bluelinx Holdings 15,551,979 July 28
Energy Transfer Equity 760,000 August 5
VMware 313,146 August 4
Source: InsiderScore

“We’re looking for a continued acceleration in buying,” said Silverman. “Barring some dramatic reversal to the upside in the next couple days we would expect insider buy level volume to remain high.”

Insiders are typically defined as a board member, executives, and institutions or individuals that own more than 10 percent of any class of the company’s stock.

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